Adrian Grant made up his team-mates' disappointment in Saturday's World
Cup final in India by winning the Winnipeg Building & Decorating Ltd
Manitoba Open in Canada.
But the top
seed from London took 65 minutes to overcome surprise opponent Julian
Illingworth, the fourth seed from the USA, in the climax of the PSA World
Tour International 25 event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in
six-time US national champion came out quickly and found his length and width
and pinned Grant to the back corners.
his magic, keeping control of the T and looking strong throughout the entire
first game," said tournament organiser Gene Turk.
But, in the
second and third games, it was the Englishman who took control.
started each rally with his targets being the back corners and kept Julian
running from side to side. He was now in command and exercised patience, waiting
for the proper time to attack," Turk continued.
came back in the fourth, trading points with his opponent until Grant edged
through in the tie-break to record his 8-11, 11-2, 11-2, 12-10 victory.
and third games were the best two games that I played in the whole tournament,"
said Grant later.
The win marks
Grant's second PSA Tour title success in Canada, and the 18th of his
career - taking the left-hander to within one Tour title triumph of his
Commonwealth Games Doubles gold medal-winning partner Nick Matthew,
the world number one who is England's leading Tour title winner.
moves on to Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta - where he is
competing in the Calgary Winter Club Rocky Mountain Open, a PSA
World Tour International 35 event at Calgary Winter Club.
Grant faces top-ranked Swiss player Nicolas Mueller in the opening round.
Illingworth Make Manitoba Final
US number one
Julian Illingworth upset second-seeded Canadian Shahier Razik in
the Winnipeg Building & Decorating Ltd Manitoba Open to earn a
surprise place in the final of the PSA World Tour International 25 squash
event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in Winnipeg, Canada.
Yorker, ranked 34 in the world, took the opening game - but the Canadian, ranked
eight places higher, fought back to draw level, then opened up a 5-0 lead in the
third before reaching game ball at 10-5.
But the record
six-time US champion held his nerve to whittle down the lead to take the game
into a tie-break - before clinching his own game ball at 12-11.
It was level
to four-all in the fourth when 27-year-old Illingworth took complete charge to
race through to his 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 victory after 70 minutes - and reach
his 14th Tour final.
In their first
meeting for over four years, Illingworth will now face Englishman Adrian
The top seed
from London maintained the upper hand throughout the other semi-final against
Ryan Cuskelly, beating the third seed from Australia 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 in 48
30-year-old left-hander, ranked 18 in the world, is celebrating his 26th
appearance in a PSA World Tour final.
To Manitoba Semis
took home interest through to the semi-finals of the Winnipeg Building &
Decorating Ltd Manitoba Open after battling to a 70-minute win over
Mexican Arturo Salazar in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour
International 25 squash event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in
33-year-old from Toronto started off slowly against the Mexican hotshot - and
quickly found himself trailing by a game to love. However, as his body loosened
up from the hard two-hour match 24 hours earlier, the Canadian number one
started to shine.
the court, eliminating Salazar's opportunities, and retrieving any attempts for
winners thrown at him, Razik climbed to a 2/1 lead," explained tournament
organiser Gene Turk.
wasn't to bow out easily though, as the fourth was a see-saw battle to the end,
with Salazar desperately attempting to push the match to a fifth and deciding
Razik ultimately triumphed in a tie-break, winning 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11.
Razik will now
face North American rival Julian Illingworth, the fourth-seeded US No1
who beat unseeded Finn Henrik Mustonen 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5.
"The match was
one of the most entertaining matches of the evening," said Turk. "The audience
was not only presented with a high-intensity, high-calibre squash match, but
also a match where sportsmanship and competitor respect was illustrated to the
utmost. In the end, the more experienced player, Illingworth, was too much for
the young Finn to handle."
In the top
half of the draw, favourite Adrian Grant warded off a big upset after
climbing back from two games down to beat fellow Englishman Robbie Temple
8-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 14-12 in ten minutes short of two hours.
Temple came out flying in the first two games. "He kept the pace high and the
angles flying hitting nick after nick. He seemed unstoppable," said Turk.
Grant, the world No18, gained control in the next two games as his opponent
seemed to be saving himself for the fifth.
traded points back and forth. Grant saved two match-balls in the tie-break
before celebrating his marathon win.
face Ryan Cuskelly in the semi-finals after the third-seeded Australian
beat Czech number one Jan Koukal 11-8, 11-4, 13-11.